Oklahoma City, OK-
The following is part one of our feature on first-year Hog Collin Clay, one of the highest ranked signees in Arkansas’ 2019 Class. Clay had some other SEC Schools in the mix like Florida, Georgia, and Missouri, but chose Arkansas.
This the first in our series on Hog Newcomers:
Lifting I feel like I’m good with, but the main thing I stress is conditioning, because that is the main thing, it’s in the SEC.
Clay doesn’t just bring talent to be disruptive up front.
What do you like most about playing that position?
It’s leadership, being vocal that’s just what I have to do and just bringing great height and size, playing defense geting to the QB, what’s better
than being able to hit people, just being able to make plays.
A top five recruit in Oklahoma out of Putnam City High School, Clay is the second defensive end out of Oklahoma signed by Morris
since the Head Hog arrived on the Hill in December 2017.
What was the process like before you decided to choose Arkansas?
The coaches gave me love every day, I called Coach Caldwell,
I can here them all in the meeting room just running around and laughing, so it was a pretty good day.
In national rankings out of high school, Clay is a top 20 player at his position. To fully explain his journey to becoming a major
division one prospect you have to go back to family dynamics.
After getting married, Clay’s parents had a son, then when she was pregnant again with Collin, Collin’s parents broke up and moved apart. Rob headed
for Jacksonville. Verdalette and her two sons live with her Mom in North Carolina.
I was living in Charlotte North Carolina and when I was there, that was when my temper was kinda like iffy ’cause I was just that kid, when somebody looked
at me crazy I was ready to say something.
Collin and Rob spoke when Collin was four or five years old, but never in person, until about six years ago.
Summer of 2013 I decided to come here, me and my brother walked through the airport and we see this big dude with a sign saying welcome home, and so
automatically we knew that was him and I was like there he goes right there. So we walked up hugged him and everything, so it was just a good moment
sharing that with him ’cause it’s been so long.
For a guy like Clay who some recruiting experts think can be an All-American if he reaches his full potential, it’s important to rewind
to his middle school days when he battled asthma. By his freshman year, he had that under control, along with his temper and Rob played a big role in the changes.
I would sit there late at night like do I really wanna play football, but then I moved middle schools in eighth grade and I kinda started getting in more
shape and my asthma slowly started fading away.
6’4 255 when he committed, Clay is now up to six five, 261.
I could play either end or tackle, but just me gaining that weight, and it’s not bad weight, muscle and stuff,
I could play either or on the line.